Volkswagen has teased a plug-in hybrid SUV concept bound for the Beijing Motor Show later this month, but the powertrain numbers are reminiscent of a model recently axed.
From the images provided, the Beijing Concept SUV has flanks far more sculpted than we’re used to seeing from Volkswagen, but it’s in keeping with the brand’s new design language. It’s a large SUV that looks to be of the two-row variety, a niche currently filled by the venerable Touareg.
The EPA notified Volkswagen yesterday that certain models equipped with the 3-liter diesel engine were in violation of emissions regulations by being equipped with a defeat device. The list of affected models does not contain a range of production years as with the previous models that were found to be in violation, but only one specific year for each model.
Owners and enthusiasts are puzzled that the only year of the Touareg listed as affected is 2014 since the model did not change much from the preceding year. One theory is that the EPA has not listed all of the affected models yet and that more would be affected in the future.
There has been a lot of coverage recently devoted to that scandal where Volkswagen revealed that its vehicles have been polluting like a chemical company that dumps out its waste in poor neighborhoods late at night.
But this scandal seems to have taken our eye off the Volkswagen ball. I say this because the whole “cheating on diesel” thing is not Volkswagen’s only issue. It is merely one of a myriad of problems that has launched the brand into the mediocre, also-ran position where they find themselves in America today. And right now, I’m here to remind you of the largest of these problems: that they spend their money on absolutely the wrong things.
The Touareg TDI is not your father’s Oldsmobile. I know, because I unfortunately drove my father’s 85HP, 1983 Cutlass Cierra diesel when I was a kid. Since my dad was a glutton for punishment, this was not his first unreliable GM diesel; we also had a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser with the infamous diesel V8. After about 30,000 miles, both our diesels smoked like a 60 year old hooker. Since potential clean diesel shoppers seem to fall into the 30-60 year old demographic, this is still the image that diesel brings to mind for many, not the reliable but low-volume European diesels from the 70s and 80s. If sales numbers are any indication however, BMW Mercedes and VW have been changing the tide of public opinion.
As a longtime champion of clean-diesel technology in the American market, Volkswagen’s decision to launch its all-new Touareg with a hybrid version comes as something of a surprise. Not only does VW have a stable of proven, efficient oil-burners to choose from, but the firm has, until very recently, savored its role as a skeptic of EV and hybrid drivetrains. And with the GM/Chrysler/BMW/Mercedes Two-Mode hybrid system conclusively failing to build a market for large gas-electric Utes, it seemed that the era of mass-market hybrid SUVs was at an end anyway. So, does VW’s excursion from its comfort zone make more sense on (or off) the road than on paper?
Well, this feels kind of like kicking a dog, doesn’t it? It’s not exactly opening up a new journalistic frontier to say “OMG THE CAYENNE SUX”. Rarely has a vehicle been as reviled as Porsche’s platform-promiscuous porky-pig of an SUV seems to universally be. Still, as Pope once said,
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne’er tastes, and beauty ne’r enjoys…
And of all the vile variations on the Cayenne (at least two of which, it must be disclosed, your humble author operated as occasional-use vehicles) this “V6” is the worst, the lowest, the most base, the most loathsome.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- 2ACL Some of the reported issues sound expensive for all but the most committed wrenchers. Scant documentation on some of the previous work is also a minus. I wouldn't mind something like this, but whereas the seller is trying to make room, I don't have any for something this intensive.
- Merc190 Any Alfa has a unique character built in, so there's that, once you get it running properly, until it doesn't...
- Syke Yeah, no sympathy for the dealerships whatsoever. I've gone enough thru training a dealership's salesperson under the guise of trying to buy an EV. I'm pleasantly surprised that Ford's insisting on Level 3 DC Fast Charging rather than the usual Level 2 that most dealerships have now. This is definitely forcing a commitment on the part of the dealer that they're going to be serious about selling EV's.Oh yeah, DC Fast Charging is never free, so you're definitely talking another income stream for the dealership. The big question is are they smart enough to make something real of it?I continue to say that the legacy automakers biggest problem when it comes to selling EV's is their own dealerships. And this article really drives that home.
- SCE to AUX Yeah, I'm going to spend 5 or 6 figures on a used/abused car from a punk.
- MrIcky I'm not buying any of Musk's BS until he steps into the ring with Zuckerberg. Musk dropped the challenge, Mark picked it up, Musk pussed out. 2 men enter, 1 man leaves- you know the law.